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Michelle Russell ‘11, ES Policy major, Attends Sustainable Foods Conference in New Orleans
Michelle Russell ('11) is a senior Environmental Science Major at Colby College. In October 2010 she attended a Sustainable Foods Conference in New Orleans, Food, Culture, Justice: The Gumbo that Unites Us All, where she represented the Colby Dining Service Program in a presentation called “The Journey to Local”. Michelle'sinterest in local and organic foods has led her to work on organic farms six summers, and she is a member of the Colby Organic Farmers and Gardeners Club. To read her reflections on the conference click here.
Colby Rocks RecycleMania
RecycleMania is a nationwide recycling competition among colleges used to promote recycling programs and waste reduction programs. Over a 10-week time span, Colby competed against other colleges to see which schools could collect the most amount of recyclables and least amount of waste. Out of the 292 participating colleges, Colby came in 30th place, with an average of 20.96 pounds of recyclables per person!
Award Winning PosterOn October 24, two ES majors, J. Sarah Sorenson '11 and Zach Ezor '10 were awarded first prize in the poster competition at the conference "Climate Change 21 -- Choices for the 21st Century (CC21)", held at the University of Maine, Orono campus. Sarah and Zach worked with Professor Russ Cole on their poster, "Colby College's Greenhouse Gas Inventory: A Guide to Carbon Neutrality", which was submitted in the category for campus initiatives related to climate change. The competition judging team was led by internationally-recognized climate scientist Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director, Climate Change Institute, The University of Maine. Honorary Judge and awards presenter was Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes" -- CBS News. Please check out the award winning poster in the display case between Rooms 207 and 208 in Diamond. Also check out more terrific student work on display on the first floor in Olin, the poster created by Becky Lipson '09 and Peter Graham '12, "Sustainability Initiatives at Colby College".
Funding provided for enhancement of ES ProgramThe Diamond Family Foundation, led by Bob '73 and Jennifer Diamond, has made a $4-million donation to the Reaching the World campaign to support interdisciplinary study of the environment, energy policy, climate change, and sustainability. The next several years will be an exciting time for the Environmental Studies program.
The Diamond Building has been awarded LEEDS certification! The building houses a number of departments and programs including the Environmental Studies program facilities. We are grateful to those who worked during the construction to help achieve this goal. It is the second building on campus to achieve certification and makes for a fitting location for the ES facilites.
Introducing: New Visiting Faculty!
Natural Resources Lawyer and Mellon Fellow in Environmental Studies Peter Sly moved from California to Maine in 2003, and has since been teaching courses on Native American Law and Policy, Water Law, Environmental Justice and Land Trusts at Colby and College of the Atlantic. A specialist in water, Indian, energy and ethics law, his practice has included Indian water settlements, federal water rights, the Colorado River, FERC relicensing, the Endangered Species Act, and water matters related to the PG&E bankruptcy. He has represented major urban water purveyors in Nevada and California; the states of Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming; and several local governments, environmental groups and community coalitions. His 1988 book, THE RESERVED WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT MANUAL is a neutral reference for parties and their attorneys seeking settlement of water adjudications. He is actively involved in continuing education programs in western water law through the American Bar Association. He is also a certified Maine Assessor, chairs the Stewardship Committee of the Blue Hill Heritage Trust and is involved in pursuing affordable housing in the coastal area. He earned his J.D. in 1974 from Yale, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and his A.B. in 1968 from Stanford. He lives in Brooklin with his wife Marcia, a mezzo-soprano and development professional.
Visiting Assistant Ngeta Kabiri (he goes by Kabiri), a native of Kenya, did his undergraduate studies at the University of Nairobi (Kenyatta college), M.A. in African Studies from Yale University, and PhD in Political Science at UNC Chapel. His research focus environmental politics. Kabiri's PhD dissertation was on Global Environmental Governance and Community-Based initiatives in Kenya and Tanzania. He was a dissertation fellow at UC Santa Barbara where he also taught in the department of Black Studies. Kabiri will be with the ES Program and Government Department filling in while Liliana Andonova is on sabbatical. He will teach courses on environmental politics and politics of development.
493 Students Help the Maine DEP
This year the Maine DEP is conducting their TMDL study on Long Pond South, the same lake studied by the Problems in Environmental Science team. A TMDL (total maximum daily load) is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards. In this case the pollutant in question is phosphorus. The students helped DEP finish their study by contributing their land use and water quality data. DEP officials have come to class as guest speakers, and the 493 students enjoyed this collaboration.
The semester-long study of Long Pond South and its watershed suggests causes for concern about future lake water quality, according to Colby student researchers. They presented their findings at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2007 in the village of Belgrade Lakes. The PowerPoint presentation can be seen at http://www.colby.edu/biology/BI493/ClassPres07.html.
The ES Department has a new home!
The Diamond Building for social sciences and interdisciplinary studies is located at the southwest corner of the Colby Green. After two years of construction it opened for use in January 2007. The ES program has dedicated office, teaching, and research space in this building as well as a brand new GIS lab.
National Wildlife Federation Recognition!
The National Wildlife Federation has awarded Colby a special recognition for campus ecology in 2006. Among the reasons for this distinction was the award of silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center. Other factors listed were the commitment of Colby's dining services to buy locally produced foods and the College's waste reduction through the RESCUE program.
A New Green Building
The new Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center is officially a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. The LEED program is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, which sets standards for environmentally responsible design. The geothermally-heated alumni center achieved silver certification, reflecting enhanced initiatives for sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.
For more on the building, click here: http://www.colby.edu/administration_cs/campus_improvements/sswac.cfm
Award Winning Research
Colby students recently presented their research at the 2006 Maine Water Conference held at the Augusta Civic Center. Bethany Peck, Sharon McMonagle, Rachel Carr, Caroline Polgar, Jakob Moe, and Andrew Johnson from the Environmental Studies Program and the Biology Department presented posters describing their work investigating the nutrient status and remediation recommendations for China Lake, GIS analyses of the China Lake watershed, and Gloeotrichia recruitment from lake sediments. Bethany's and Sharon's poster received the award for the best undergraduate poster at the conference. These students were mentored by Russell Cole, David Firmage, and Kirsten Ness. The research for the first two posters was conducted during the fall as part of the Biology 493 Problems in Environmental Science course.
Bernadette Bibber, Emily Ann McClure, Lindsey Boyle, Ta-Chung Ong, and Danny Lin from the Chemistry Department also presented posters at the conference on topics including: nitrate in freshwater systems, superoxides and hydrogen peroxide in natural waters, and the spatial distribution of Gloeotrichia in lakes. These students were mentored by Whitney King.
The Future of Maine’s North Woods
ES Program Grants
Colby's leadership in environmental initiatives, both in the classroom and in campus practices, will be bolstered by several grants recently made to the College.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Colby $300,000 for a package of curricular innovations in environmental studies that will build on a 1999 Mellon grant. The Hollis Foundation made a challenge grant of $100,000 to endow student research fellowships in environmental science. And the Oak Foundation has contributed $250,000 toward a geothermal heating and cooling system in the new Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center and another $250,000 toward construction of a state-of-the-art GIS (Geographic Information Systems) laboratory in the Diamond Building, to be built beginning this year. The Kendall Foundation awarded $25,000 for students to plan and host a Green Campus Summit at Colby.
Funding from the Mellon Foundation will enable Colby to expand its highly regarded Environmental Studies program with new initiatives. Specifically, program enhancements will include:
The Oak Foundation grant will help provide permanent space for the use of GIS in the new Diamond Building for social sciences and interdisciplinary studies. Colby will break ground for the building this spring. The Oak Foundation grant also contributed toward a climate-control system in the new alumni center that uses 1,500-foot wells to capture geothermal energy to heat and cool the building. Both the alumni center and the Diamond Building will be certified as environmentally responsible through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program.
2nd Annual Environmental Studies End of Year Celebration Dinner
This has been a terrific year for your ES Program. This dinner, organized by the ES Club, was a time to socialize with ES faculty, their families, and other students. Seniors who will be graduating from the Environmental Studies Department were recognized for their individual achievements.
Brendan Carroll received the Environmental Studies Program Prize. This prize is awarded the senior major with the highest grade point average. Allison Stewart and Lauren Wolpin shared the Hollis Prize in Environmental Studies. This prize is typically awarded to a senior selected by the program faculty who has made significant contributions to the Environmental Studies Program.
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